Flash mob promotes health, fitness

Instructor AJ Lacuesta and his class of dancers, along with
participants from the Student Dietetics Association, work out
to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” as the finale of their flash
mob on Wednesday in the Free Speech Area.
Dalton Runberg / The Collegian

Dozens of students from the Midnight Dance Fusion class surprised campus on Wednesday with a flash mob dance routine to promote the class as a healthy and fun workout alternative.

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the Student Dietetic Association on campus had the idea to organize a flash mob to promote health and wellness.

A student in instructor AJ Lacuesta’s Midnight Dance Fusion class at the Student Recreation Center suggested doing a flash mob as well to promote the class and fitness in general. When the two groups caught wind of each other’s plans, it became a joint effort for a common cause.

Vice president of the Student Dietetics Association Kalvin Lazcano felt it was a perfect fit.

“It just so happens the theme of National Nutrition Month is ‘Get Your Plate Into Shape,’” Lazcano said. “So it’s exercise and nutrition coming together in one component for your own health.”

In total, about 50 students from the dance class and SDA practiced for more than a month to learn the flash mob routine using moves they already learned in the class combined with new moves.

“A lot of the moves were from the MDF class,” said Irene Gonzalez-Velez, a junior business student in the class who helped choreograph the flash mob. “We kind of wanted to make it easy for everyone. Not everyone’s a dancer in there.”

The event also fell on Registered Dieticians Day, so the SDA had already planned to have a booth featuring various basic health assessments. Students could calculate their body mass index and their basal energy expenditure, which is the amount of energy your body naturally uses in a day.

Instructor of the Midnight Dance Fusion class AJ Lacuesta, a senior kinesiology exercise science student, said that he enjoys teaching the class because he has free reign to create a fun environment for people to dance in.

“I use club lights that I bought on my own and I just darken the room,” Lacuesta said. “It’s like a big dance party.”

The atmosphere of the class is welcoming to newcomers who may be nervous about their dance skills, or lack thereof.

“The lights are totally off, so you really can’t see a whole lot in there,” Gonzalez-Velez said. “So if you’re self-conscious, you don’t have to worry at all because really no one is looking at you.”

The class is designed to serve as a fun alternative to a traditional workout. “You work up a sweat in the class and it’s really high-intensity,” Gonzalez-Velez said. “But it’s fun.”

“When I did the dance thing, I was sweating, I was out of breath, and I was actually amazed how much exercise and how much force it takes just to dance around,” Lazcano said.

The class is also a great way to meet new people and make your workout more sociable. “It’s more for the social person,” Lazcano said. “It was just nice doing a physical exercise with somebody else, not just by yourself.”

“It’s so fun to be in there,” Gonzalez-Velez said. “And then you become friends with the people there. It’s better than running for an hour by yourself on the treadmill.”

You can watch a video of the full routine here.

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